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Jordan Rossen Papers

Identifier: LP001858

Scope and Content

The Jordan Rossen Papers includes personal correspondence, interoffice memoranda, court case briefs, political campaign notes and documents, and biographical materials. These records span the professional career of Rossen from his graduation from Harvard in 1959 until approximately 2004. These materials have been arranged into three series: 1 Personal, 2 Campaigning, and 3 Labor.

Series 1 contains the personal correspondence to and from editorials, colleagues, and a variety of sources. Some photographs, newspaper clippings, audio tape and floppy disks are included and interspersed within this series. Of particular note is the folder “Racial Integration and Comic Strips” with correspondence from comic artists regarding racial integration of characters in humorous comic strips, of which Rossen was a fan. Also of interest is Rossen’s political memoir which details his journey through the Young Democrats organization and the world of political campaigning.

Series 2 has campaign materials primarily for the Blair Moody Jr. run for Circuit Court in 1974 and the Michigan Supreme Court through the 70's, as well as the Justin Ravitz campaign for the Recorders Court of 1974. There are also a smaller amount of materials relating to Jerome Cavanagh's 1974 attempt at Governor. Of note here is the folder “Motor City Labor League” with a write up on the history and course of that organization.

Series 3 contains interoffice memoranda and court case briefs related to unemployment cases at both the U.S. and Michigan Supreme courts. This series also contains a dispute between Rossen and the legal team at the UAW from 1973-1978. Some court briefs can be found in “Personal, 1982 2/2”.


  • 1956 - 2004
  • Majority of material found within 1969 - 1991


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Jordan Rossen was a lawyer for the UAW from 1964 to the early 2000's. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1956 with a BA in Economics and attended Harvard Law School attaining an LLB in 1959 with a concentration in labor law, with classes taught by Archibald Cox. Rossen joined the UAW legal team in 1964 and worked with organizers on National Labor Relations Act issues. During the 1970's he took on more cases related to unemployment insurance and would coordinate the UAW's national unemployment insurance activities. In 1973 he became the General Counsel for the UAW legal team. Before and during his time with the UAW, Rossen assisted in political campaigns for a number of candidates, notably Blair Moody Jr.'s campaigns for Circuit Court and the Michigan Supreme Court, and Justin Ravitz campaign for the Recorders Court. He personally championed a number of issues related to social justice, such as issues of representations in comic strips, a proposal to reduce crime, and the renaming of his old high school to Thurgood Marshall High School. Rossen would beging phasing into retierment in the late 1990's and early 2000's and would teach seminars on labor law at Wayne State University.


5 Linear Feet (5 SB)


Jordan Rossen was a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) legal team from 1964 until the early 2000's. His presence on the UAW legal team led to a number of landmark cases in unemployment law, particularly with pregnancy cases. Rossen was also active in the Democratic Party of Michigan and the Young Democrats group from the 1960's. He assisted many personal and political campaigns in Michigan politics. Personal correspondence, biographical records, court case briefs, photographs, and political and labor materials are included in this collection.


The collection is arranged into 3 series.

Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.

Series 1: Personal, 1957-2004 (Box 1-4) Series 2: Campaigning, 1964-1993 (Box4) Series 3: Labor, 1962-2000 (Box 4-5)


The Jordan Rossen Papers were donated to the Walter P. Reuther Library in 2005 by Jordan Rossen, and in 2015 by Jordan Rossen Jr.

Related Materials

Detroit Revolutionary Movement Records, Mildred Jeffry Papers, UAW Presidents Office Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Brian Schamber on February 22, 2021.
Guide to the Jordan Rossen Papers
In Progress
Processed by Brian Schamber.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA